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June 20th, 2017

SCOTUS Decision Prompts Judge in #1 Hellhole St. Louis to Declare Mistrial in Talc Case

Responding to a defense motion that cited an important 8-1 U.S. Supreme Court decision rendered earlier in the day, a St. Louis trial judge yesterday declared a mistrial in the sixth such trial there in which plaintiffs allege, contrary to widely accepted science, that the makers of talcum powder are responsible for their ovarian cancer . . . → Read More: SCOTUS Decision Prompts Judge in #1 Hellhole St. Louis to Declare Mistrial in Talc Case

June 19th, 2017

ATRA Cheers SCOTUS Term’s Jurisdiction-Case ‘Trifecta’

With today’s announced decision of a third significant jurisdictional case by the U.S. Supreme Court this term, the American Tort Reform Association applauded the “trifecta,” calling the decisions “welcomed relief for corporate defendants targeted by personal injury lawyers, with plenty of help from plaintiff-friendly courts in California, Missouri, Montana, Texas and elsewhere . . . → Read More: ATRA Cheers SCOTUS Term’s Jurisdiction-Case ‘Trifecta’

March 9th, 2017

Missouri, Oregon High Courts Clarify ‘Personal Jurisdiction,’ SCOTUS Poised to Hear Similar Cases

As both state and federal courts in recent years have created confusion by ruling differently on questions of personal jurisdiction (whether a state’s courts should have jurisdiction over cases involving various out-of-state elements), high courts in Missouri and Oregon last week hewed closer to longstanding tradition and appropriately ruled that claims alleging out-of-state injuries against out-of-state defendants doing little business there should be brought elsewhere . . . → Read More: Missouri, Oregon High Courts Clarify ‘Personal Jurisdiction,’ SCOTUS Poised to Hear Similar Cases

March 7th, 2017

Seventh Circuit Vacates Certification, Orders ‘Empty Suit’ Class Action Dismissed with Prejudice

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit yesterday vacated certification and directed the trial court to dismiss with prejudice the latest “empty suit” class action wherein class members suffered no real injury and wasted precious court resources merely to register their dissatisfaction with a product . . . → Read More: Seventh Circuit Vacates Certification, Orders ‘Empty Suit’ Class Action Dismissed with Prejudice

March 3rd, 2017

Louisiana Litigation Seeking to Bilk Energy Companies Suffers Set-Back at Fifth Circuit

In a major development in the civil litigation targeting energy producers in Louisiana over their alleged damaging of the receding coastline there, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today unanimously affirmed the dismissal of the very first such lawsuit — wholly concocted by plaintiffs’ lawyers — filed on behalf of the Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) . . . → Read More: Louisiana Litigation Seeking to Bilk Energy Companies Suffers Set-Back at Fifth Circuit

February 10th, 2017

House Bill Would Help Stop ‘Empty Suit Litigation™’

Though it’s still early in the new 115th Congress, a newly proposed House bill could help stop certain plaintiffs’ lawyer-driven class actions — featuring no discernible injuries — that ATRA calls “Empty Suit Litigation™” . . . → Read More: House Bill Would Help Stop ‘Empty Suit Litigation™’

January 18th, 2017

Missouri’s New Governor Cites ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report in His First ‘State of the State’ Address

Missouri’s newly minted, reform-minded Governor Eric Greitens delivered his first State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature in Jefferson City yesterday, declaring his commitment to enacting critical tort reforms as a means to improving both the state’s civil justice system and its economic prospects . . . → Read More: Missouri’s New Governor Cites ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report in His First ‘State of the State’ Address

November 9th, 2016

‘Lawsuit Industry’ Is Election’s ‘Biggest Loser’

Despite President-elect Donald Trump’s history of litigiousness, the American Tort Reform Association today declared the “lawsuit industry” to be “the biggest loser in last night’s historic election” . . . → Read More: ‘Lawsuit Industry’ Is Election’s ‘Biggest Loser’

October 20th, 2016

Federal Judge Dismisses ‘Logic-Defying’ Claim Filed by Consumers Pretending to Be Imbeciles

A federal judge Tuesday bluntly dismissed a putative nationwide class action filed on behalf of consumers pretending to be imbeciles who were oblivious to plainly labeled pill-counts on packaging of over-the-counter medication . . . → Read More: Federal Judge Dismisses ‘Logic-Defying’ Claim Filed by Consumers Pretending to Be Imbeciles

September 8th, 2016

Federal Judge Warns of Sanctions for Purveyors of ‘Frivolous’ Mesh Cases, More Broadly Questions Abuse of MDLs

A federal judge presiding in Georgia over multidistrict litigation (MDL) that alleges certain pelvic mesh implants caused painful infections in women has fired a Rule 11 warning shot across the bow of plaintiffs counsel still floating “frivolous” claims in his courtroom . . . → Read More: Federal Judge Warns of Sanctions for Purveyors of ‘Frivolous’ Mesh Cases, More Broadly Questions Abuse of MDLs

August 23rd, 2016

Iced Drinks Lawsuit against Starbucks Emphatically Dismissed by California Federal Judge

A federal judge last Friday emphatically dismissed a preposterous would-be class action that alleged Starbucks deceived customers by underfilling its iced beverages with liquid and overfilling them with ice . . . → Read More: Iced Drinks Lawsuit against Starbucks Emphatically Dismissed by California Federal Judge

August 16th, 2016

Pa. Attorney General Kane Found Guilty of Perjury

On Monday, August 15, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, was convicted on nine criminal charges, including felony perjury and felony criminal conspiracy . . . → Read More: Pa. Attorney General Kane Found Guilty of Perjury

August 11th, 2016

Could ‘Posner Principle’ Doom Preposterous, ‘No-Injury’ Class Actions?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit yesterday endorsed the Delaware Court of Chancery’s January ruling that so-called “disclosure-only” settlements in shareholder class actions need to reveal a “plainly material misrepresentation or omission,” and reversed a district court’s approval of a disclosure-only settlement between Walgreen Co. and investors . . . → Read More: Could ‘Posner Principle’ Doom Preposterous, ‘No-Injury’ Class Actions?

July 19th, 2016

Federal Courts in Two Top Hellholes Issue Refreshingly Reasonable Class-Action Decisions

Federal courts in both California and New York — two perennial Judicial Hellholes — issued refreshingly reasonable decisions in two closely-watched cases last week . . . → Read More: Federal Courts in Two Top Hellholes Issue Refreshingly Reasonable Class-Action Decisions

July 19th, 2016

After Criticism of ‘MDL’ Abuse, Federal Panel Last Year Denied More Consolidation Requests than It Grants

After ATRA and others criticized abuse of multidistrict litigation, the federal panel overseeing such litigation denied more requests for MDL consolidation than it granted last year — the first time that’s happened in a decade . . . → Read More: After Criticism of ‘MDL’ Abuse, Federal Panel Last Year Denied More Consolidation Requests than It Grants

July 7th, 2016

Georgia’s High Court Rules Reasonably on Asbestos Liability

In contrast to two recent high court decisions in the currently ranked top two Judicial Hellholes, the Georgia Supreme Court this week reasonably limited asbestos liability by reversing a $4 million plaintiff’s verdict and rejecting “expert” testimony that espoused the long-disfavored “any exposure/cumulative exposure” theory.

Georgia’s high court held: “The critical opinion conveyed by Dr. Abraham in his testimony — that any exposure to asbestos at the Waycross facility was a cause of [the plaintiff’s] mesothelioma, regardless of the extent of the exposure — does not ‘fit’ the legal standard for causation, and for that reason, the admission of his testimony . . . amounted to an abuse of discretion.”

The Peach State ruling comes as . . . → Read More: Georgia’s High Court Rules Reasonably on Asbestos Liability

June 2nd, 2016

Florida’s Strengthened ‘Expert Testimony’ Standard Working, But Still under Threat by State’s High Court

Joining several state trial and appellate courts in doing so, a unanimous Florida appeals court yesterday embraced a more exacting standard for expert testimony which, believe it or not, may yet be struck down by the Sunshine State’s notoriously plaintiff-friendly Supreme Court . . . → Read More: Florida’s Strengthened ‘Expert Testimony’ Standard Working, But Still under Threat by State’s High Court

June 1st, 2016

Florida Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Steals from Clients, Gets Disbarred Goes to Jail, and . . . Blames Others

Previously disbarred Miami plaintiffs’ attorney Guy Bailey is off to prison for 25 months after failing to pay, as a condition of probation, restitution to clients from whom he’d stolen some $700,000 . . . → Read More: Florida Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Steals from Clients, Gets Disbarred Goes to Jail, and . . . Blames Others

May 11th, 2016

California Enacts Law to Protect Small Businesses from Predatory ADA Lawsuits

California, the nation’s #1 Judicial Hellhole, has taken a dutiful step forward to remedy the ADA lawsuit epidemic in the state. Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation which will curb the predatory filing of ADA lawsuits by serial plaintiffs, and reduce the burden on small businesses in the state. . . . → Read More: California Enacts Law to Protect Small Businesses from Predatory ADA Lawsuits

May 6th, 2016

Oregon High Court Upholds Statutory Damages Limit in Suits Naming State, State Employees as Defendants

Earlier this month, the Oregon Supreme Court voted 5-2 to uphold a $3 million statutory limit on tort awards in lawsuits against the state or its employees. The Court’s well-reasoned opinion overrules prior bad precedent which was not grounded in history or a proper reading of the law. . . . → Read More: Oregon High Court Upholds Statutory Damages Limit in Suits Naming State, State Employees as Defendants